At least four dead, more than 50 injured after tornadoes tear through Texas, Florida


(NEW YORK) — Tornadoes tore through parts of the United States on Thursday night, killing at least four people and injuring dozens of others, officials said.

Three of the deaths occurred in Perryton, Texas, where a tornado destroyed homes and communication towers. The victims were identified as Becky Randall, a woman in her 60s who was found in a print shop; Cindy Bransgrove, a woman also in her 60s who was found in a food bank; and Matthew Ramirez, an 11-year-old boy who was found in a trailer park, according to the Ochiltree County Sheriff Terry Bouchard.

Another 56 people in Perryton were injured and one person — identified as 64-year-old Ruben Villegas — is missing, Bouchard said.

Meanwhile, one person died in Pensacola, Florida, after a tree fell on their home during a tornado, according to the Escambia County Fire Rescue.

There were several reported tornadoes throughout the night across Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan and Florida.

Perrtyon, a small town near Texas’ state line with Oklahoma, was particularly hard hit, with the most significant damage on the north and east sides, according to Perryton Fire Chief Paul Dutcher.

Dutcher told ABC News on Thursday that the number of injured may be around 100 people. The injuries range from minor to severe and multiple patients have be transferred to trauma centers.

Multiple agencies have responded to the scene, Dutcher added.

There is currently no power to Perryton, according to Xcel Energy, an electric utility and natural gas delivery company.

“Our crews are arriving on site and are assisting in removing lines from cars and across the roads,” the company told ABC News in a statement. “We are patrolling the transmission feeds into the city and also assessing possible damage at the main substation in town. One of the three main transmission feeds into the city was apparently undamaged, but we deenergized it for safety reasons.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to deploy state emergency response resources to meet urgent life-safety needs in Perryton.

“The State of Texas is swiftly deploying critical emergency response resources to provide all necessary support and assistance to protect Texans and help those impacted by tornadoes in Perryton,” Abbott said in a statement. “I encourage all Texans to heed the guidance of state and local officials and to take all necessary precautions to protect yourselves and your loved ones. We remain ready to quickly provide any additional resources needed over the course of this severe weather event.”

Ochiltree General Hospital, the area hospital for Perryton, is currently without power, an official said on Thursday.

Debbie Beck, chief financial officer of Ochiltree General Hospital, told ABC News 50 to 100 patients were treated for tornado-related injuries.

No victims died at the hospital and some patients were transferred to Northwest Texas Hospital, according to Beck.

Weather alerts, including tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm watches, were issued across the South for Thursday. Georgia and Alabama were both slammed with heavy rain and flooding.

Southeastern Colorado to southwestern Kansas are also bracing for rough weather, with a severe thunderstorm watch issued. Residents in the region are told to expect dangerous winds up to 80 mph, hail up to 4 inches in diameter and possible tornadoes.

More storms are expected Friday from Colorado to the Gulf Coast, with damaging winds and hail the main threat. Severe storms are also possible Friday afternoon and evening from Virginia to New Jersey.

Meanwhile, dangerous, triple-digit heat is baking the South. Record-high temperatures are possible over the next few days in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and New Orleans.

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